January isn’t exactly the most thrilling month and it’s certainly fair to say that – this year – it’s been even less fun than normal.
With socialising off the cards and Zoom chats wearing thin, we’re more grateful than ever for the fantastic TV offerings which have kept us entertained.
Whether you’ve fancied tuning in to a critically-acclaimed new release, enjoying a dose of nostalgia or indulging a guilty pleasure, there’s been plenty of top TV to enjoy – and this weekend is no different.
Here’s our guide to all the best shows airing or arriving in the next three days...
Friday 22 January
WandaVision, episode 3 (Disney+)
The third instalment of Disney’s much-hyped Marvel series has arrived. For the uninitiated, the mind-bending show follows Wanda and Vision (played by Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany) as they attempt civilian life in the suburbs.
Each episode takes its styling cues from a different decade and the third transports our heroes into the 1970s. While you don’t have to be a diehard Marvel fan to enjoy WandaVision, there are plenty of easter eggs for viewers who know the MCU inside-out.
It’s A Sin (Friday 9pm, Channel 4)
Russell T Davies’ much-hyped drama – which takes its name from the iconic Pet Shop Boys track – is finally set to debut on Channel 4.
The five-part series follows a group of young, gay people living in London in the early 1980s. As they attempt to find their place in the world, the Aids crisis begins to turn their community upside down.
Hilarious, witty and heart wrenching in places, It’s A Sin features a stellar cast of up-and-coming stars led by Years and Years’ frontman Olly Alexander.
Glastonbury: Neil Diamond (10pm, BBC Four)
If you’re mourning the cancellation of this year’s festival, BBC Four has the ultimate bittersweet offering in the form of Neil Diamond’s 2008 set in its entirety.
While his time on the Pyramid stage was blighted by technical issues, Diamond soldiered on and cemented his place in history by delivering one of Worthy Farm’s greatest ever Legends slot performances.
Read more: Festival season isn’t doomed in 2021
If you don’t manage to catch this on BBC Four, the programme will be added to BBC iPlayer after it airs too.
The O.C. (All4)
The O.C. first arrived on Channel 4 way back in 2004, making the show itself now older than the wealthy teenagers it follows. All four seasons (yes, even the slightly erratic final offering) have aged well though, and binge-watching them is the perfect way to add a little California sunshine to the winter months.
As well as having no shortage of twists and turns, The O.C. also boasts a seriously impressive soundtrack which propelled up-and-coming bands into the spotlight. When you reach season four, look out for a cameo from The Killers.
Saturday 23 January
The King Of Staten Island (1.40pm, Sky Cinema Premiere/Now TV)
Watch a clip from The King of Staten Island
Pete Davidson’s semi-autobiographical movie gets its UK television debut. The film, directed by Judd Apatow, follows Davidson as troubled protagonist Scott, who is struggling to cope following the death of his firefighter father.
Davidson’s own father, who was a firefighter, died in 9/11, and The King Of Staten Island is a touching and darkly comic exploration of bereavement, grief and a struggle to move on.
A Lord Of The Rings marathon (2pm, Sky Cinema Feel Good)
One does not simply watch one Lord Of The Rings film… get comfortable on the sofa and tune in to all three instead.
Sky’s marathon screening of Peter Jackson’s trilogy starts at 2pm and if you do sit through all three movies, you’ll eventually finish at 11.30pm so cancel any other plans and get the snacks in now.
A word of warning though: nearly 11 hours of Lord Of The Rings isn’t for the faint-hearted.
Thankfully, they’re all on Sky on Demand too.
The Masked Singer (7pm, ITV)
Eight singers remain in ITV’s completely bonkers singing contest and this Saturday’s episode will see each of them perform in a bid to stay in the competition.
The question is: who’s behind each mask? Judges Davina McCall, Mo Gilligan, Rita Ora and Jonathan Ross will once again be sharing their best guesses though it’s fair to say they’ve often missed the mark. Can you do better tuning in at home? Answers on a postcard, please.
Secrets Of The Royal Palaces (8.30pm, Channel 5)
This week’s behind-the-scenes peek at what royal life is really like takes us to the Queen’s Norfolk estate, Sandringham. But if you think life at the country abode is all peaceful walks and luxurious relaxation then you’re wrong – the palace actually has a reputation for seriously impressive parties.
Sunday 24 January
Sunday Brunch (9.30am, Channel 4)
Thanks to social distancing and the wonder of Zoom, Channel 4’s morning offering has been able to continue throughout lockdown.
This week’s episode features Russell T Davies talking all things It’s A Sin, ex-T4 presenter Miquita Oliver stopping by and a musical interlude from London-based singer-songwriter Arlo Parks.
Dancing On Ice (6pm, ITV)
After last week’s series opener, the second half of this year’s celebrity competitors will take to the ice in a bid to impress the panel.
With no studio audience and plastic panels between the judges, this year’s series is looking a little different but thankfully the sparkle and increasingly terrifying lifts are still present and correct.
The Serpent (9pm, BBC One)
We’re just over halfway through the BBC’s love-it-or-hate-it drama, which fictionalises the real-life story of conman and killer Charles Sobraj, played by Tahar Rahim.
Sobraj and his girlfriend Marie-Andrée Leclerc (played by Jenna-Louise Colman) traversed across Asia in the mid-1970s and committed a series of chilling crimes along the way. It’s not exactly light Sunday night viewing but The Serpent has proved to be a compelling watch.
Finding Alice (9pm, ITV)
If The Serpent isn’t your kind of thing, ITV has its own divisive offering, the Keeley Hawes-fronted Finding Alice.
Hawes plays the titular character, whose world has been rocked by the sudden death of her partner, Harry, after he falls down the stairs in their dream home. While grieving for her husband, Alice makes a series of startling discoveries and soon learns that she didn’t know Harry half as well as she thought.
The Cabins Reunion: Out of the Woods (9pm, ITV2)
If you were addicted to ITV’s Winter Love Island replacement then this is a must-watch. Clara Amfo will oversee proceedings as we find out which couples are still together and which ones haven’t even WhatsApped each other.
Like all reality television reunion shows, this one-off special follows a tried-and-tested format; take all your contestants, show them previously unseen footage, ruffle as many feathers as possible and watch sparks fly.
Watch: John Barrowman shares DOI struggles